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(506) 2223-1327                    Published  Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 139                     Email us
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Government issuing decree to cut current expenses
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials rolled out a savings plan that promises to shed $77 million of spending on public entities. Vice President Helio Fallas, who doubles as the finance minister, announced the efficient spending directive 009-H at a Tuesday press conference alongside Jose Francisco Pacheco, Costa Rica's vice minister of expenditures.

Designed on being more efficient and plotting better investments in the public sector, the executive directive looks to cut nonessential costs over the next two years. Most of the savings are expected to come from only allowing 15 percent of the current job vacancies to be filled within ministries and public entities. This will cause 2,500 currently unfilled jobs to become completely obsolete. The withdrawal from filling these positions is slated to save the government around 22 billion colons, or $40 million, according to their estimates.

In addition the directive will freeze administrators salaries, preventing pay increases for ministers, vice ministers, executive presidents, directors, and assistant directors. That ceiling placed on their pay will save an estimated 670 million colons, or $1.2 million.

Both Fallas and President Luis Guillermo Solís signed off on the outline Monday and it will go into effect as soon as it's published. Solís and the central government currently face a large deficit that could become as much as 6 percent of the gross domestic product, meaning total current incomes won't be able to crack that deficit alone.

In finding other options to cut back, Pacheco said the government is looking to shed at least 20 percent of expenses from what he called controllable costs. In highlighting these expenses, Pacheco mentioned that the president's administration is trying to cut down on high-end public employees buying cars for their personal use. He said that omitting those bills for new cars and the gas prices accompanying them should provide an easy way for the state to minimize luxury costs.

“This is a wish and a call for our leaders to diminish costs as highlighted under this new guideline,” Pacheco said. “We also want them to install self-measurements. Already we've seen some positive feedbacks.”

Included on the list of nonessential costs that the government wants to deter are foreign travel allowances, office redesigns, and art works, among numerous others.

Authorities are also going to tightly monitor offices and buildings that public agencies are
Directive in brief

Some major goals of the directive for public entities:

• Keep 85 percent of currently vacant positions as they are, hoping to save around $40 million;

• Cut 20 percent of expenses made on luxury or nonessential items;

• Freeze salaries for administrative heads;

• Review contracts for all buildings rented by public agencies and minimize rental costs



 renting. The state supplies a rental budget, which reached 27 billion colons this year, for public agencies to use when renting working space or computer equipment. According to the directive, a specialized committee will review potential building leases to check off on factors like infrastructure, long-term pricing, and overall utility. Pacheco said this particular process has already begun.

“We are calling on all the ministers to send us information about rental contracts and building rental costs,” he said. “We want to make this a very tight-knit collaboration.”
 
A finance ministry group called the Dirección General de Presupuesto Nacional will monitor the executive branch and the Secretería Técnica de la Autoridad Presupuestaria will be placed in charge of reviewing all other public offices.

Within two months of the directive's publication, the finance ministry will prepare a list of modifications to the national budget law in order to reduce authorizations of spending and to help alleviate the public debt, according to the plan.

Both Pacheco and Solís have said they are willing to be flexible on some of these points, as they have pointed out that expectations will vary depending on the ministry or organization. 

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, for example, has been exempted from some of the belt tightening in order to continue to advertise the country.

The proposed austerity measures were not greeted favorably in all quarters. Antonio Alvarez Desanti, a leader of the opposition Partido Liberación Nacional in the legislature called the plan a copy of what former president Laura Chinchilla had decreed.


Agents crack down on another psychic operation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The belief in the occult runs deep in some Costa Ricans. In one case, investigators said the belief was 75 million colons deep, about $138,000.

This is how much one Costa Rica woman paid to keep on the right side of spiritual forces. Her guide, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization, was another woman identified as  La Maestra Sonia.

Investigators call this type of fraud la bruja, meaning "the witch."

La Maestra Sonia, a Guatemalan woman, appears to have styled herself as some sort of clairvoyant or seer. Her pronouncement was, according to agents, that the woman's family was in danger and to save the family some witchcraft was necessary.

To make things right with whatever dark forces were approaching, the woman had to make a sacrifice of 35 million colons (about $65,500) by burning the bills. There is a pretty good chance that the real money never was destroyed, thanks to a little sleight of hand. Investigators later found a stash of fake U.S. banknotes.

Another time the woman was asked to sacrifice 20 million colons, some $37,000. But never mind the expense because the sacrifice was a guarantee to win the national lottery, agents explained.

The investigation began earlier this month after the victim failed to win the lottery and the suspect broke off communications.

Investigators checked out La Maestra Sonia's base of operations when they arrested her Tuesday morning. They found appointment books and other documents suggesting that the woman had many more customers for spiritual intervention. Agents said those who feel they have been defrauded should file a complaint.

Escazú calls itself the city of the witches because of a woman named María who in Colonial times
witch's den
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
La Maestra Sonia's desk doubled as an altar.


pretended to have such powers. Today there are witches, sorcerers and seers all over seeking the money of the gullible. Judicial agents several weeks ago detained a man who patrolled the Plaza de la Cultura looking for believers who would buy his spells. Newspapers, spam emails and even some online classified sites are full of individuals offering spiritual intercession.

La Maestra Sonia's problem appears to be that she was so successful in getting money from her customers that investigators were attracted to her setup.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 139

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Accountants

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Rape suspects in La Fortuna set free

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Posted at 2:50 p.m.

Prosecutors have released the four men suspected of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old female student from the United States, according to a spokesperson at the Judicial Investigating Organization. The men were set free because the woman did not want to pursue with charges, said the spokesperson..

The men, Nicaraguans who were working on a construction site in La Fortuna when they were detained Tuesday, were reported to be the last ones seen with the woman before the reported gang rape took place early Sunday morning. Monday reports surfaced that the female student visiting Costa Rica with classmates had said she was sexually assaulted while returning alone to her lodgings from a bar in La Fortuna.

The judicial agency spokesperson said Wednesday afternoon that the female was with her group visiting Jacó, as the students have another week left before they return to the U.S.


Culture ministry target of search

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The anti-corruption prosecutor and judicial agents searched the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud Tuesday as part of an investigation of excessive payments in past years.

The press office of the Ministerio Pública confirmed the search by the  Fiscalía Adjunta de Probidad, Transparencia y Anticorrupción.
 
The agency, which is home to prosecutors, said that the team confiscated paperwork including contracts and a computer.

The allegation was lodged by the ministry itself under the new administration of Elizabeth Fonseca.

After local news reports surfaced that a majority of the ministry's exposition contracts were given to one purveyor, Ms. Fonseca called for an investigation.
 
The culture ministry reported questionable expenses that were charged for five major cultural events. Those in question are the Festival de las Artes, Enamorate de tu Ciudad, Colegio de Costa Rica, Festival Internacional, and the Feria Internacional del Libro.

Ms. Fonseca said her ministry's investigation found that since 2011 spending on these programs had rocketed when compared to past years. The minister of Cultura y Juventud under the Laura Chinchilla administration was Manuel Obregón.


Fitness seems to trump sedentary effects

By the American Cancer Society news staff

Physical fitness may buffer some of the adverse health effects of too much sitting, according to a new study by researchers from the American Cancer Society, The Cooper Institute, and the University of Texas. The study appears in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and finds the association between prolonged sedentary time and obesity and blood markers associated with cardiovascular disease is markedly less pronounced when taking fitness into account.

Sedentary behavior has been linked to an increase risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and premature death. But previous studies of the association have not taken into account the protective impact of fitness, a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality.

For the current study, researchers led by Kerem Shuval of the American Cancer Society, examined the association of sedentary behavior, physical activity, and fitness to obesity and metabolic biomarkers among 1304 men seen at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas between 1981 and 2012. Sedentary time was composed of self-reported television viewing time and time spent in a car self-reported on a 1982 survey. Fitness was determined by a treadmill test during the medical examination at clinic visits.

The study showed that more sedentary time was significantly associated with higher levels of systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as lower levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. It was also associated with body mass index, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. But when researchers controlled for fitness, they found prolonged sedentary time was only significantly associated with a higher triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio (an indicator of insulin resistance). Sedentary time was not associated with metabolic syndrome (a clustering of risk factors). In comparison, higher fitness levels were associated with reduced body fat and metabolic measures.

The authors say interpretation of their study’s findings should be tempered by its limitations. For example, sedentary behavior was based on self-report at one point in time, whereas fitness was assessed objectively during clinic visits.


Study shows why hurricanes intensify

By the University of Miami news staff

New research from University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggests that physical conditions where the ocean and atmosphere meet, is a key component to improve forecast models. The study offers a new method to aid in storm intensity prediction of hurricanes.

“The general assumption has been that the large density difference between the ocean and atmosphere makes that interface too stable to effect storm intensity,” said Brian Haus, professor of ocean sciences and co-author of the study. “In this study we show that a type of instability may help explain rapid intensification of some tropical storms.”

Experiments simulated the wind speed and ocean surface conditions of a tropical storm. The researchers used a technique called “shadow imaging,” where a guided laser is sent through the two fluids – air and water – to measure the physical properties of the ocean’s surface during extreme winds, equivalent to a category-3 hurricane.

Using the data obtained from the laboratory experiments, the researchers then developed numerical simulations to show that changes in the physical stress at the ocean surface at hurricane force wind speeds may explain the rapid intensification of some tropical storms.

Haus and colleagues will conduct further studies on hurricane intensity prediction in a new laboratory that is the only facility capable of creating category-5 level hurricanes in a controlled, seawater laboratory. The nearly 65-foot long tank allows scientists to simulate major hurricanes using a 3-D wave field to expand research on the physics of hurricanes and the associated impacts of severe wind-driven and wave-induced storm surges on coastal structures.


Our reader's opinion
He opposed dengue mosquito spraying

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

At this moment I'm waiting for the police to arrive, who were called by the sprayer for the Ministerio de Salud, who showed up unannounced and without saying anything, began spraying the salad greens growing in my front yard. Luckily I caught him before he got to the organic seedlings I am about to plant on the farm, nor did I permit him to spray inside the house.

The policy that mass spraying of toxic compounds is going to eliminate the problem of dengue is patently absurd. It is a mere bandaid, and not a very effective one. Is dengue epidemic here? There's not much doubt about that. The mosquitoes that carry it love meat-eaters, of which Ticos have been eating at a rate unprecedented in their history.

Eliminating eating meat is nearly unthinkable to the vast majority of people. But here they are now cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The Caja is backed up and bursting at the seams. Data from the World Resources Institute show that Costa Rica uses toxic pesticides and herbicides at a rate more than twice as high as any other country in the world. The toxic spraying for dengue has been increasing, which not only kills ALL the insects, and is being blamed for decimating the bee population so essential to agriculture of all types-it creates more health problems than it will cure. Increased respiratory problems, lowered immune systems, harm to young and old, are just a few of the needless problems they are adding on. It's been proven that lowering blood acidity levels is the way to avoid attracting the mosquitoes, who carry dengue, from biting.

How does one lower their blood acidity, which incidentally is cited as being a major benefit to overall health, as well as a key component in curtailing cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and many other illnesses, as well as aging in general? Eating meat, especially red meat, processed foods, and sugar are the major causes of elevated blood acidity.

Anyone here interested in supporting the cause of lowering toxic spraying in the name of "public health" should contact the Ministerio de Salud: www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/
Hari Singh Khalsa
Cóbano

Editor's Note; Later the writer said  "Well I guess calling their bluff worked. The cops didn't show, and they left."


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
AIM S.A.
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 139
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Search for girl, 6, still fruitless, but case advances against relative
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police and emergency personnel are beefing up their numbers as the search for a 6-year-old girl continues in Santo Domingo de Heredia. The girl is Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo.

There were significant changes Tuesday outside the search. A relative of the girl who has the last name of  Guzmán now faces an allegation of engineering her abduction. At the same time, prosecutors have changed the focus of sex abuse charges and now say the man abused the brothers of the missing girl not the girl herself, according to a statement from prosecutors.

In addition the entire family has been placed under the jurisdiction of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the child protection agency.
The agency known as PANI is supposed to determine if there is a risk in keeping the remaining children in the home.

The suspect is a relative of the girl's father. He was questioned Saturday and then released. That afternoon he was detained again.

The case against him appears to hinge completely on the word of the girl's two minor brothers. Such youngsters are notoriously bad witnesses and can be lead easily by police. Prosecutors are seeking preventative detention for the 24-year-old suspect. A judge has yet to make that decision.

Tuesday the search itself moved to a nearby river that had not been looked at previously. Police and rescue workers have combed the area for a kilometer around the family's home without success.


Pedestrians continue to be the target on the highways and streets
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pedestrians on the nation's highways continue to be a major problem. So far this year 21 have died in mishaps with vehicles.

The PolicÌa de Tránsito generally blames a pedestrian when the individual is hit by a car. The person was crossing at the wrong spot dressed in dark clothing and doing so in the driving rain, they say.

Pedestrians have no special rights on the Costa Rican roads. Motorists do not yield to them when making right or left turns. In rural areas, many roadways have little or no shoulder, so walkers have to do so in the traffic lane.

Traffic police expressed pleasure Tuesday that the pedestrian road death toll this year was four less than in the same period in the previous year. They have issued yellow bracelets for pedestrians which are supposed to make them more visible.

Mario Calderón, director of the traffic police, said that with the arrival of the rainy season and children back in school after midyear vacation, there is a greater risk of vehicle-pedestrian mishaps.

To some extent pedestrians do bring mishaps on themselves in many situations. Some refuse to use the pedestrian bridges and cross four- and six-lane highways on foot dodging cars. Even street vendors wear dark clothing that makes them nearly invisible after dusk. Others cross in the middle of the block ignoring crosswalks and traffic signals.

Motorists also are at fault when they jump the red light, speed or deliberately try to hit pedestrians, which seems to be a hobby among some of the young.
bracelette
Ministerio de Obras P™blicas y Transportes photo
This is the type of yellow bracelet traffic police are giving away.

Calderén noted that many youngsters carry cell telephones and they have the opportunity to turn on the flashlight of the cell telephone when they are walking in a dark area.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 139
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Cheap, easy way developed to test for quality of anti-malaria drug
By the Oregon State University news staff

Chemists and students in science and engineering at Oregon State University have created a new type of chemical test, or assay, that’s inexpensive, simple, and can tell whether or not one of the primary drugs being used to treat malaria is genuine, an enormous and deadly problem in the developing world.

The World Health Organization has estimated that about 200,000 lives a year may be lost due to the use of counterfeit anti-malarial drugs. When commercialized, the new technology may be able to help address that problem by testing drugs for efficacy at a cost of a few cents.

When broadly implemented, this might save thousands of lives every year around the world, and similar technology could also be developed for other types of medications and diseases, experts say.

Findings on the new technology were just published in Talanta, a professional journal.

“There are laboratory methods to analyze medications such as this, but they often are not available or widely used in the developing world where malaria kills thousands of people every year,” said Vincent Remcho, a professor of chemistry.

“What we need are inexpensive, accurate assays that can detect adulterated pharmaceuticals in the field, simple enough that anyone can use them,” Remcho said. “Our technology should provide that.”

The system looks about as simple, and is almost as cheap, as a sheet of paper. But it’s actually a highly sophisticated colorimetric assay that consumers could use to tell whether or not they are getting the medication they paid for, artesunate, which is by far the most important drug used to treat serious cases of malaria. The assay also verifies that an adequate level of the drug is present.

In some places in the developing world, more than 80 percent of outlets are selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, researchers have found. One survey found that 38 to 53 percent of outlets in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam had no active drug in the product that was being sold. Artesunate, which can cost $1 to $2 per adult treatment, is considered an expensive drug by the standards of
the developing world, making counterfeit drugs profitable since the disease is so prevalent.

Besides allowing thousands of needless deaths, the spread of counterfeit drugs with sub-therapeutic levels of artesunate can promote the development of new strains of multi-drug resistant malaria, with global impacts. Government officials could also use the new system as a rapid screening tool to help combat the larger problem of drug counterfeiting.

The new technology is an application of microfluidics, in this instance paper microfluidics, in which a film is impressed onto paper that can then detect the presence and level of the artesunate drug. A single pill can be crushed, dissolved in water, and when a drop of the solution is placed on the paper, it turns yellow if the drug is present. The intensity of the color indicates the level of the drug, which can be compared to a simple color chart.

Undergraduate and graduate students in chemistry and computer science working on this project in the Remcho lab took the system a step further, and created an app for an iPhone that could be used to measure the color, and tell with an even higher degree of accuracy both the presence and level of the drug.

The technology is similar to what can be accomplished with computers and expensive laboratory equipment, but is much simpler and less expensive. As a result, use of this approach may significantly expand in medicine, scientists said.

“This is conceptually similar to what we do with integrated circuit chips in computers, but we’re pushing fluids around instead of electrons, to reveal chemical information that’s useful to us,” Remcho said.  “Chemical communication is how Mother Nature does it, and the long term applications of this approach really are mind-blowing.”

Colorimetric assays have already been developed for measurement of many biomarker targets of interest, Remcho said, and could be expanded for a wide range of other medical conditions, pharmaceutical and diagnostic tests, pathogen detection, environmental analysis and other uses.

With a proof of concept of the new technology complete, the researchers may work with the university to commercialize the technology, ultimately with global application.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Howard
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Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
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8278-3/14/14


Hidden
Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8390-10/2/14

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



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We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
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Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.
Contact:  HPCattleCR@aol.com
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oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.
laurelfanderson@gmail.com
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challet
Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property, Two bedrooms, two bathrooms  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate  $500.00 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
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Tropical Paradise in downtown San José
$485 per month.

The apartments are located in the heart of San Pedro, just a few minutes from the capital, San José. We are close to everything: banks, food, supermarkets, transportation, many language schools, Humans’ Rights Court, United Nations, Oscar Arias Foundations, the Defense
apartments
of Children, the University of Costa Rica, VERITAS, U. Latina and other private universities. We provide a positive friendly and quiet atmosphere which includes gardens, parking, security, laundry/cleaning services, high speed (2 mega bytes) Wireless DSL Internet/active cable T.V. connections 
with 90 channels (TV not included). The apartments include the following: one bedroom, kitchen/dining/living room area, bathroom (with hot shower), refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, stove top, basic kitchen supplies, basic furnishings and all linens. We also offer 100 percent free, unlimited phone calls to U.S.A., Canada,  and Puerto Rico. 3 MONTH MINIMUM CONTRACT.    Contact us at 506-8818-2004    or  506-8302-1499   villalakshmi@gmail.com  Check our Web site, www.villalakshmi.com, for more info.
8386-6/29/14

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8393-8/3/14

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8357-5/28/24




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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 139
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Support grows in Congress
to do something about kids


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bipartisan support appears to be growing on Capitol Hill to promptly address a growing immigration crisis along the southern U.S. border. Senate lawmakers agree a surge of undocumented underage arrivals must end, but the precise remedy and funding required to achieve it remain a point of contention.

Bipartisanship and swift action are rarities in Congress, which is considering a request from President Barack Obama for nearly $4 billion to care for and process tens of thousands of undocumented minors, and to boost federal resources along the 3,200-kilometer U.S.-Mexico border.

Republicans control the House of Representatives and can block or delay votes in the Senate; but, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, had this to say when asked if Congress should act before a month-long August recess.

“I hope so, because I think the humanitarian needs are great,” he said.

That view is echoed by Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat who says, “It is something we should do before the August recess.”

Both senators say a 2008 law signed by then-president George W. Bush assuring immigration hearings for most underage arrivals is untenable, given the sheer number of minors arriving from primarily Central American nations. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, agrees.

He says, “The 2008 law was designed to deal with children from China and other places that come here as sex slaves, to make sure we do not send them right back. Clearly, the immigrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are of the belief that if you can get here, you can stay.”

One proposal put forth by a Republican senator and a Democratic House member would drastically limit the time frame for an undocumented minor to make a case to remain in the United States as a refugee.

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, fears such a change would cause untold numbers of new arrivals with legitimate immigration claims to be denied justice.

“You cannot, in 72 hours, make a case that your father got murdered in front of you," he said. "You cannot make a case that a gang told you, ‘Join us or die’ if you do not have the time to produce documents, affidavits, certificates, or whatnot.”

Other points of disagreement concern precisely how much money should be spent for what purpose. Graham said funds are needed to address humanitarian needs at the border, but added that he will not vote to approve billions of dollars until policy concerns are addressed.

Carper fears no U.S. solution will work so long as violence and poverty remain endemic in Central America.

Carper said, “Why are parents willing to send 8-, 9-, 10-year-old unaccompanied children 1,500 miles into a foreign country? The reason why is the lives of those families in Honduras, many of them, are hell holes. And so they are voting with their feet.”

For now, Obama and members of his cabinet are stressing that undocumented minors have no automatic right to remain in the United States, and hoping the message is heard in Central America. Administration critics say Obama is at least partly to blame for the border crisis, given his recently stated intention to do what he can to address America’s immigration challenges though executive action.


Pope calls for a welcome
for Central American children


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis is calling for urgent action to protect the tens of thousands of children who make their way alone from Central America to the United States.

In a letter read at a Vatican-organized conference in Mexico City, Francis said these children need to be welcomed. He added that after leaving their families and escaping violence and poverty, they are met with racism and xenophobia when reaching the U.S. border.

The pope appealed to the world community to promote development in Latin America while also spreading the word among the would-be child immigrants that traveling alone is dangerous.

U.S. lawmakers from both parties are calling on Congress to vote on a bill to boost funding for processing illegal immigrants before next month's recess.


Four Tico kids with parents

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican foreign ministry said Tuesday that there were reports that four Tico children had arrived in the United States unescorted this year. None was in custody, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

All four of the children are in the care of their parents, the ministry said. No parent has sought help from the ministry's consulates, officials said.


Reporter licensing plan
launched in South Africa

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A plan to license reporters in South Africa is being condemned by journalist groups.

The new chief of South Africa’s public broadcaster, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, had already raised the ire of many South Africans for claiming to have a high school diploma, called a matric, which he does not.

Now he's further raised hackles by demanding that journalists in Africa’s most established and boisterous media landscape be licensed to practice.

Motsoeneng says media licensing is necessary because some journalists are lazy, make up facts, and are not objective. He did not give specific examples.

He also says South African journalists too often miss what he described as good news about the government’s efforts to improve the lives of South Africans. He says he will make a formal submission on this idea to the nation’s communications minister.

Unsurprisingly, the pronouncement has been met with derision by journalists, professionals who are paid to ask and say what most people are too afraid, or embarrassed, to ask and say.

South Africa’s National Editors’ Forum has condemned the proposal and criticized Motsoeneng for what it calls his ignorance of journalistic practice.

Tuesday, the International Committee to Protect Journalists joined the fray, saying South African journalists have earned the right to report freely after decades of oppression and censorship under apartheid. 

“We are very concerned that the head of the public broadcaster is thinking in terms of licensing journalists," said the committee's Africa program coordinator, Sue Valentine. "Because we believe that this is not the job of the head of a public broadcaster, and also it totally takes South African press freedom, which is hard won, it takes it backwards.”

Ms. Valentine also says that Motsoeneng’s argument that doctors and lawyers are licensed should not apply to journalists. In fact, she says, his proposal flies in the face of South Africa’s constitution.

“The difference is that a doctor or a lawyer is a profession, whereas journalists deal with the issue of the fundamental human rights, of freedom of expression and the right of access to information," she said. "So the right of freedom of expression and access to information is at the heart of what journalists do, and for that reason journalists should not be licensed.”

Motsoeneng says he will stand firm by his proposal, whose fate, without a doubt, will be closely followed by journalists. 


Scientists say they are close
to finding life beyond Earth


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

NASA scientists say they’re closer than ever to finding life beyond Earth.
 
At a July 14 panel discussion, several leading NASA scientists outlined the agency’s roadmap to find life and looked back on the discoveries that paved the way.
 
While NASA continues to look for life in the solar system, namely on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the panel was focused on the search for life outside the solar system.
 
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, opened the discussion saying “it is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone."
 
One major advancement in the discovery of worlds outside the solar system has been the Kepler Space Telescope, launched in 2009. It has been critical in expanding the knowledge of exoplanets, discovering most of the 5,000 potential exoplanets, 1,700 of which have been confirmed.
 
One of those planets is an Earth-size planet orbiting the habitable zone of a star. The habitable zone is the distance from a star where liquid water can exist. Liquid water is considered to be a key ingredient for life.
 
Kepler’s discoveries have led scientists to conclude that there are potentially billions of planets in the galaxy.
 
"Sometime in the near future, people will be able to point to a star and say, 'that star has a planet like Earth'," says Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a statement. "Astronomers think it is very likely that every single star in our Milky Way galaxy has at least one planet."
 
A major step in discovering potential extraterrestrial life will be the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017, James Webb Space Telescope in 2018 and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope - Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets early in the next decade.
 
These will eventually allow scientists to determine if an exoplanet has atmospheric water vapor or carbon dioxide and better measure other atmospheric chemicals.
 
"With the James Webb, we have the first capability of finding life on other planets, but we have to get lucky. We have to beat the odds," said Seager.
 
The panel opened up to questions from the public, and a viewer asked if extraterrestrial life were discovered, would the government let the public know.
 
“Of course we would,” replied Ellen Stofan, NASA's chief scientist.


North Korean freighter stuck
on reef in Gulf of México


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A North Korean freighter remains lodged on a reef near the port of Tuxpan on Mexico's Gulf coast, a day after it ran aground en route from Havana.

The port's captain was headed to inspect the Mu Du Bong and determine a course of action to get the 6,700-ton vessel afloat again, a source in his office said.

The Mu Du Bong was headed to the small port in the state of Veracruz to pick up a load of fertilizer when it hit a reef roughly 12 kilometers from the port.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, according to local emergency chief Ricardo Maza.

Maza said the captain was disoriented when the accident happened. Environmental officials are determining if the reef has been damaged.

Citing online maritime traffic information, a correspondent for Forbes wrote Sunday that the Mu Du Bong deviated from its traditional routes in East Asia to call on a port in eastern Russia in April, then headed to Cuba via the Panama Canal in late June before falling off the radar for 10 days.

The incident marks the second time in a year a North Korean vessel has encountered problems in the region.

Last July, the crew of the Chong Chon Gang was held in the Panama Canal after authorities found undeclared military supplies, including two Soviet-era MiG-21 aircraft, air defense systems, missiles and command and control vehicles hidden under millions of dollars’ worth of sugar.

Both Havana and Pyongyang said the weapons were obsolete Cuban arms being shipped to North Korea for refurbishment under a legitimate contract and due to be returned to Cuba. But neither country explained why the shipment was hidden.

Panama said in April that a U.N. team concluded that the cargo violated a U.N. embargo.

The last three of the crew members to be detained, including the captain, were acquitted in late June and left Panama Saturday en route to Pyongyang, their defense attorney said.


Pakistan man is sentenced
to death for blasphemy


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to death on blasphemy charges.

Lawyers say a judge in the eastern city of Lahore rejected Mohammad Zulfiqar's defense of mental illness and convicted him for violating the country's blasphemy laws of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Zulfiqar was arrested for reportedly writing derogatory language against the Prophet on the walls of a public park in the Islampura area of Lahore in April of 2008.

Blasphemy carries the death penalty in Pakistan and is a highly sensitive issue in the Muslim-majority country.

In May, a human rights activist and lawyer was shot and killed while defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy. Rashid Rehman's death was the latest high-profile killing linked to Pakistan's strict laws against defaming Islam. A prominent provincial governor and a Christian federal minister were assassinated in separate incidents in 2011 for criticizing the laws.

Last month a Christian couple was sentenced to death for sending a blasphemous text message to the imam of a mosque in the eastern town of Gojra, where riots targeting Christians erupted in 2009. The couple's lawyer Nadeem Hassan called trial procedures unfair, telling the BBC the offending message was texted from a mobile phone which has been lost previously.

Some critics of the country's blasphemy laws say the policy is sometimes exploited to unfairly target minority groups.


Russia pulls U.S. plug
on its D.C. radio network

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Facing legal problems, the Russian government-funded radio network, the Voice of Russia, has fired its Washington bureau staff and closed the office.

The shutdown happened Monday, amid allegations of tax fraud and claims of racial discrimination at the network.

Alexei Iazlovsky, the head of the network's U.S. operations, pleaded guilty last year to tax fraud and will be sentenced later this year.

The network's employment practices also have attracted attention from the IRS and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The IRS is investigating whether the network used contractors alongside full-time, salaried employees to skirt payroll taxes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took an interest in the network after several former staffers claimed they were fired because of their race.

The employees have filed a lawsuit against International TV Services, the network’s contract manager in the United States.

Some suspect Voice of Russia will quickly return to the U.S. through a different management company without the legal troubles.


Clean living put forward
as an Alzheimer defense

  
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists say lifestyle changes, such as healthier eating and more education, could prevent people from developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Several studies presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen support this view.

One trial in Finland found two years of exercising, diet, cognitive training and other changes improved people's memory function.

Research also shows a decline in the rate of dementia in the United States, Germany and other developed countries.  A U.S. study concluded an American over age 60 today has a 44 percent lower chance of developing dementia than a person the same age 30 years ago.

Researchers say reasons for this could be declines in smoking, heart disease and strokes - all factors linked to dementia - as well as improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

But scientists caution that the growth of diabetes and obesity could offset these gains.  And in poor countries, behind in education and health, dementia seems to be rising.

In the United States, more than five million people have Alzheimer's.  The non-profit Alzheimer's Disease International says dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common form, affects more than 44 million people worldwide.  The group says that number is expected to triple to more than 135 million by 2050.

The age-related brain condition, which gradually robs patients of their ability to think, remember and care for themselves, is rising partly because people are living longer.

In addition to the focus on lifestyle as prevention, some are looking to medications to fight Alzheimer's.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis plans to test two experimental Alzheimer's drugs in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease, but do not yet have symptoms.  The company is collaborating with the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in the U.S. state of Arizona.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
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Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
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Great climate
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English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
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English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
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Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
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1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK HERE
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8352-8/13/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
TURNKEY

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8422-9/15/14

Finca
A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special sale price $245,000. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write lindafinca@hotmail.com.
8430-8/11/14


ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.
8406-8/2/14

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8413-8/28/14

Castillo
Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info
mail@davidcollier.net   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)
8382-7/5/14

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at  rakell.leon6@gmail.com, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.
8361-8/15/14

Casa Fiesta
Caribbean Beachfront Home and Apartment  Puerto Viejo
 Right on the Beach!
Ranch style home with detached garage and apartment Air-conditioned home sleeps 4, apartment sleeps 2 ,  3 baths, hot water showers  Fenced-in property with pool, screened in patio  Turnkey....Everything is included with the sale!   Washer/dryer, furniture, appliances, tools, household items and linens, bicycles, and even a vehicle! Great income potential also  259,000 US Please visit our Web site for many more photos go to: http://www.casafiestacostarica.com  Email inquires to:   suez2cats@hotmail.com
8358-8/8/14

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/14

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 139
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Giant study confirms organic benefits  

By the Washington State University news staff

The largest study of its kind has found that organic foods and crops have a suite of advantages over their conventional counterparts, including more antioxidants and fewer, less frequent pesticide residues.

The study looked at an unprecedented 343 peer-reviewed publications comparing the nutritional quality and safety of organic and conventional plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains. The study team applied sophisticated meta-analysis techniques to quantify differences between organic and non-organic foods.

“Science marches on,” said Charles Benbrook, a Washington State University researcher and the lone American co-author of the paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition. “Our team learned valuable lessons from earlier reviews on this topic, and we benefited from the team’s remarkable breadth of scientific skills and experience.”

Most of the publications covered in the study looked at crops grown in the same area on similar soils. This approach reduces other possible sources of variation in nutritional and safety parameters.

The research team found the quality and reliability of comparison studies has greatly improved in recent years, leading to the discovery of significant nutritional and food safety differences not detected in earlier studies. For example, the new study incorporates the results of a research project that compared the nutritional and sensory quality of organic and conventional strawberries grown in California.

The British Journal of Nutrition study was led by scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, with Benbrook helping design the study, write the paper and review the scientific literature, particularly on studies in North and South America.

In general, the team found that organic crops have several nutritional benefits that stem from the way the crops are produced. A plant on a conventionally managed field will typically have access to high levels of synthetic nitrogen and will marshal the extra resources into producing sugars and starches. As a result, the harvested portion of the plant will often contain lower concentrations of other nutrients, including health-promoting antioxidants.

Without the synthetic chemical pesticides applied on conventional crops, organic plants tend to produce more phenols and polyphenols to defend against pest attacks and related injuries. In people, phenols and polyphenols can help prevent diseases triggered or promoted by oxidative damage, like coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

Overall, organic crops had 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds. The team concludes that consumers who switch to organic fruit, vegetables and cereals would get 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants. That’s the equivalent of about two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with no increase in caloric intake.

The researchers also found pesticide residues were three to four times more likely in conventional foods than organic ones, as organic farmers are not allowed to apply toxic, synthetic pesticides. While crops harvested from organically managed fields sometimes contain pesticide residues, the levels are usually much lower in organic food, compared to the corresponding, conventionally grown food.

“This study is telling a powerful story of  how organic plant-based foods are nutritionally superior and deliver bona fide health benefits,” said Benbrook.

In a surprising finding, the team concluded that conventional crops had roughly twice as much cadmium, a toxic heavy metal contaminant, as organic crops. The leading explanation is that certain fertilizers approved for use only on conventional farms somehow make cadmium more available to plant roots. A doubling of cadmium from food could push some individuals over safe daily intake levels.







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From Page 7:

Industrial chamber to push for changes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The chamber of industry proposes to do nothing less than change the development model of the country.

The chamber, correctly called the Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica, is presenting a series of proposals to the government during an all-day session Thursday at a local hotel. The idea is to change the government's development plan, the Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2014-2018, in significant ways.

The chamber said that the initiative has as central themes innovation, competitivity, employment, human development and the environment. The chamber wants to free the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje from state control and make it a pubic entity. The chamber also said it will propose tax reform and standardizing the way government agencies make purchases.

Some government ministers and their staff members are expected to attend.

In the past, the chamber has expressed concern about the high price of electricity among other problems.